A good rhyme, once mentioned to me by a highway patrol officer:
"At eight you're great ... at nine, you're mine" ...
You will find most people drive on average 10 - 20 kms over the 100 km speed limit on the 400 series of highways.
If you are caught going 50 km over the speed limit anywhere, your car will be impounded & towed (on the spot), and you will be charged with speed racing.
At this time of the year, in addition to police vehicles patrolling the highway, they also use aircraft to spot speeders.... and yes ... they really are used ... I've seen them.Edited: 23 July 2011, 19:02
There is a general tolerance off about 10kph over the limit. What they are looking for are excessive speeding. weaving 'in and out' trying to get ahead, tailgating, etc. As long as you are keeping up with the traffic, and not going a lot faster than the traffic flow, then you are OK. One thing that has been ticketing is staying in the passing lane for miles and miles. The passing lane is to be used for just that, passing, not driving in it. One other thing too. If you are in the inside lane, and see up ahead a cop car with the lights flashing with a vehicle pulled over, you are required by law to slow down, and if possible, move to the passing lane. After several cops have been killed while conducting a traffic stop, the OPP are really cracking down on this at the moment.
You'll be passed by a lot of vehicles at 105, including semis - stay in the right hand lane at that speed. Radars are usually set around 119-120. You can get pulled over for less, but you would have to be doing something really stupid, like driving in the passing lane.
There are certain areas along that 401 corridor between Toronto and Montreal that are just chronic for speeders, and they'll be watching for that. Generally, the traffic on the outskirts tends to go up to 120kph, altho the posted limit is 100. Watch the flow of traffic. We've lost too many people on the roadside this season, and what seems like increased loss of life in cottage areas this year. Since alcohol has played a big part in a lot of that, the cops are looking for weaving, unsafe lane changes, speeding. Use the left lane for passing, and then get yourself out of it smartly and safely. And whatever you do...DO NOT use handheld electronic devices. They are prohibited. If you need to talk on cell, make sure you have hands free, either ear piece or the gizmo that programs through the radio. That includes GPS units, too. If you have one in your hand when they pull you over, you're toast.
I'm travelling on the 400 series highways all the time. Although they can certainly stop you for anything over the speed limit, generally you don't get stopped unless you're going more than 120 or unless there is a blitz with zero tolerance. I usually try to stay under 116. Once you are charged with going more than 16 kph over the limit, you will get demerit points against your licence.
If they nabbed everyone going over 105, they'd have to build booths at highway exits to hand out all the tickets. :) 115 is generally a reasonable speed when driving conditions are good, though you'll see lots of people going faster.
In addition to the handheld devices Flyinmom mentions, be aware that radar detectors are illegal in Ontario (and police are equipped with radar detector detectors). And buckle up too!
Welcome to the TORONTO TRAVEL FORUM
Good info from my colleagues… let me add some more.
Upon entering Ontario (and elsewhere right across the Province) you will see signs that look like the following two… one outlines the Fines that are imposed for Speeding… and the other the consequences of what is termed “Street Racing”…or “Speed Racing”
Speeding Signage = www.flickr.com/photos/mpd01605/3810653238/
Racing Signage = www.ottawacitizen.com/2702127.bin…
As you can see the higher fines kick in at 120 Kms (400 Highways are posted at 100 Kms MAX)… Believe these numbers & fines are current (although I could be wrong… haven’t checked lately)… BUT in any case serious fines begin at 130 Kms… HUGE leap here for that extra 10 Kms.
I generally drive somewhere in the 100 to 115 range, depending on which 400 Series Highway I am on… The Queensway around Ottawa probably lower (100 – 105), Hwy 416 middle (105 – 110), and Highway 401 towards the highend (110 – 115)… of course the road conditions and weather has to be ideal… lol, just because the Speed Limit is shown as 100 Kms doesn’t mean that I’ll be doing that in the pouring rain !! Common Sense is an important aspect in the equation !!
On the 401 between Montreal and Toronto, and it seems like NO ONE is driving at the posted speed limit. So although the idea of travelling with the speed of the flow of traffic is a good one… be aware, of when and how much you are creeping up the Speedometer. There are certainly folks who will be pushing 120 and beyond !!
The 401 is the scene of numerous car accidents daily… many of them fatal… and the OPP that patrol this highway have seen it all (like the guy who was travelling and had a laptop taped to his steering wheel and was reading & writing emails)…. so ya, the OPP have very little tolerance for the folks they pull over on this route !!
As well, the Speed Racing Charge is something you don’t want to mess with… Maximum Fine of $ 10,000… and EVERYONE sees Immediate Roadside Driver Suspension… and Vehicle Seizure (and they mean seizure… chances are slim that you’ll ever see that vehicle again).
Although from all accounts, I’ve heard that most of the charges laid in that category seem to be on roads with posted speed limits in the 30 to 40 Kms range (so folks going 80 to 90 Kms say in a school zone).
Also, be aware that Fines in Construction Zones are doubled (that is usually posted in the zone… although not always)…
You can make right hand turns on a Red Light in Ontario... once you've come to a complete stop, and confirmed it is safe to do so (unless otherwise marked... NO RIGHT TURN... check, because these types of signs are around)
And as mentioned, unlike Quebec, we have tougher laws when it comes to hand-held distractions... be they Cell-Phones, CB radios, GPS units, MP3 Players, CD Players, DVD Players, Ipod / Ipads or a Laptops. Pushing one button on your dash etc... is ok, multi-tasking while driving is not.
YOU MUST slow down and move over if there is an Emergency Vehicle (Police – Fire – Ambulance – Tow Truck with Lights Flashing)… on a multi-lane highway… preferably far enough to leave at least one lane clear between the vehicle and your car (as someone has said this has come about because there have been too many OPP Officers who have been hit alongside of Ontario Highways).
Also, when it comes to multi-laned highways, do be a sweetheart for the rest of the Drivers and use the Passing Lane for passing (and then get back into the Driving Lane asap… no one likes a Fast Lane Hog if they aren’t driving faster than the lanes to the right !!) and be aware that if you are driving in the slow lane of a multi-lane highway… that the folks trying to merge might also appreciate it if you slide over briefly to let them in !!
And if the weather is iffy... fog, rain, or it is dawn or twilight... think about keeping your HEADLIGHTS ON... (not just your day-time running lights)... because the added bonus is besides being seen by ongoing traffic you are now VERY VISIBLE to those of us who may be behind you (especially so if you run into a hot summer thunderstorm, where the rain is just teaming !!)
All common courtesy… the road isn’t just there for you… it is meant for all of us to share (and statistics prove, that if one follows the general rules of sharing the road, that actually there are (a) less accidents, and (b) traffic flows better… so snags and slowdowns would actually move quicker).
Driving is truly all about BEING AWARE of what is going on around you and “the other guy”… the more attentive you are the better driver you are, and the better /safer experience it is for yourself, and everyone else on the road.
Remember as the ad says... "The Life You Save... May Be Your Own"
Wine-4-2Edited: 24 July 2011, 04:19
OPP = Ontario Provincial Police
As mentioned above, the OPP patrols the highways from the air. They also use unmarked patrol cars, and patrol cars with "stealth" markings.
"Stealth" Markings... lol, no kididng.
Translation... any colour car... with NO "physical" markings... just the tell-tale whip antenna on the back.. and the lights in the rear window... BUT if you are that close to see them... AND SPEEDING... then the game is over !!
Its the semi trucks that need speed limiters set to 105 km/h. So if your in a big rig going 110 km/h yeah, you will get stop very quickly I wound guess
Likely that is were the confusion happen.
Personally I don't like it, those big rigs used to help keep traffic moving along more quickly. Now they all travel t in the right lanes and take up space.
I also don't like the too low of speed limit of 100 km/h when not a single person drives that slow. The USA raised their speed limits long ago, here in Michigan I say 50% drive at or just below the speed limit of 70 mph most of the times. Over in Canada everybody "technically speeds" on the expressways.
I do like the no radar detectors, those things just slow down traffic too much around here. The police could be on the next road yet many people drive like the cop is right next to them when that little red light on the radar dect. is flashing on their dashboard.
So I can see in part why the limit is still 100 km/h, even at 110 km, 75% of traffic would go quicker, 115 is what is needed but then more would go a steady 120 or more.
Your on holiday and on a unfamiliar road, just go 110 or so and you be just fine and lose just a few mins each hour. Pretty much what I do--until I get back on US land